Movie Review - Gemini Man: Stunningly put-together, but where’s the heart?

Once a prodigious action star, Will Smith attempts to reboot his Hollywood career with this all-out action thriller while Ang Lee seeks a tech-heavy differential from his original Chinese, tradition- heavy, oriental action blockbusters – both, after wading through commendable dramas that heightened their critical worth.

Movie Review - Gemini Man: Stunningly put-together, but where’s the heart?

A still from Gemini Man

Johnson Thomas

Once a prodigious action star, Will Smith attempts to reboot his Hollywood career with this all-out action thriller while Ang Lee seeks a tech-heavy differential from his original Chinese, tradition- heavy, oriental action blockbusters – both, after wading through commendable dramas that heightened their critical worth.

Henry Brogan (Smith), super precise hit-man for Defense Intelligence Agency, has suddenly begun to feel the pinch of a conscience after 72 hits. His precision, as we see in the thrilling opening set-piece where he shoots a bad guy in a fast-moving train from a far-away location, away from the speeding locomotive, is unparalleled. Brogan has decided to retire but the DIA and his former army buddy Clay Varris (Clive Owen) is not too happy about this decision and plans to eliminate him by employing a perfect biotech warrior- a clone of Brogan, the 25- year-old Junior (Smith in digitally effected youthful form) whom Varris happens to have raised as his adopted son, to do the job. 

The thinly put-together screenplay goes right into setting up spectacle rather than providing any food for thought. The body count starts rising as the action gets heavier and more sophisticated. Amazing special effects are the high-point here – especially that of the de-aged Smith whose younger look matches his several decades old Fresh Prince of Bel Air appearance. Sequences, which have the two Smiths in the same frame (apparently), look fantastic. The high-generation 3D format makes the visuals look brilliant. Cinematographer Dion Beebe’s composite framing allows for superb 3D detailing and stunning widescreen vistas and cityscapes which make the experience intermittently thrilling. But the visual effects can only do so much as please the eye. The facile content doesn’t allow for any deeper involvement. 

With this effort Ang Lee may have taken Hollywood to the next generation level in terms of special effects and 3D imagery – unfortunately his story telling craft appears to have suffered in comparison. Gemini Man is so full of gimmicky that it fails to touch our hearts!

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